V U L N E R A B L E
E X P O S U R E
Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis & Exhibition
Featured in Quigley Gallery & The Center for the Arts in Crested Butte
The purpose of my collective work is to illustrate the vulnerability climbers are exposed to through the mental and physical risks of the sport itself. By developing on to natural stone, and depicting the relationship of the figure and environment, I aim to represent the psychological challenge these athletes face.
Ever since I began climbing, I have become consciously aware of the vulnerability, fear, and the mental push that comes with such a strenuous sport. Brene Brown writes in her book, Braving the Wilderness, “The definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. But vulnerability is not weakness; it's our most accurate measure of courage." Photography itself is encompassed by the idea of exposure. Technically speaking, a photographer’s camera must open itself to light to capture the desired image. Artistically, photographers must be open to mistakes, variable conditions, and the ability to adapt in undesirable situations. Developing my work using alternative processes forced me to overcome this very same idea of vulnerability.
The entire process of my work is based on perception and judgement. As an action sports photographer I am constantly evaluating information due to being in such extreme environments. Many things can go wrong in my “outdoor studio” and I must be able to adapt. When developing my images in the dark room, the entire procedure is incredibly fragile. One small light leak or chemical mismeasurement can completely diminish my process. However, I believe mistakes and inconsistencies make art meaningful, which is why my images conform to the textural contours of the rocks. The surfaces of my photos are reflections of the imperfect and natural forms on which they are superimposed. I want my work to spark a fire in my audience, leading them to believe that they can do something as triumphant as climb a peak or conquer their own vulnerability.